Roxboro residents have to hold off a little longer if they want to play sports.
Spring sports leagues for the Person County Recreation, Arts, and Parks department do not begin gameplay until Monday, April 13.
“Luckily, we were not in the middle of any sports seasons,” said athletic supervisor Jennifer Dunkley. “We put together teams, conducted meetings, held practices, and schedules for baseball and softball were complete.”
Youth spring programs include volleyball, baseball and softball, while the two adult programs are soccer and volleyball.
“Right now, no one has dropped,” said Dunkley. “We’ve started to field phone calls about league concerns – specifically if we’re going to cancel any leagues. Right now, we have no intentions of that.”
Dunkley has taken some of those calls herself.
“People are asking if we are going to issue refunds,” said Dunkley. “It is important for us to make sure that everyone knows what’s going on.” The recreation department would make a call on refunds if they need to abandon the season.
While Dunkley hopes to start back programs on the 13th, that date is not guaranteed.
“We’re still planning on moving forward, but things may look different for us than in past years,” said Dunkley. “We may push spring sports to summer start dates.”
Teams cannot practice on their own times, but facilities are still open to the public.
“People who use our parks must follow social distancing,” said Dunkley. “We encourage families to use our facilities, taking time to practice with their children.”
In a typical season, teams are allotted four weeks of practice time.
“Once it’s OK to move forward, we’ll start with a shortened practice season,” said Dunkley. “We might cut the weeks of practice down to two.”
Dunkley spends her weekends enjoying the county recreational areas.
“Sunday, I went to Allensville Park to get out of the house,” said Dunkley. “I utilized the walking track.”
Dunkley saw a couple of families during her time outdoors.
“When I first got there, a man and his son were playing baseball,” said Dunkley. “As I left, another family arrived, utilizing the ball field for practice. That’s what I love to see.”
Person County residents are understanding of the shutdown.
“We haven’t had any negative feedback,” said Dunkley. “People knew it was coming with the domino effect. It’s sad for us as employees, parents, and spectators, but we know it’s for the right reason. Everyone is willing to do their part.